Saturday, January 9, 2010

Radiator Installed

Yes, you read that right. The radiator is in. I had a couple of hours today between chasing kids from a sleepover and a pinewood derby car building event with my son's cub scout den. So, I popped another fan on the radiator, made a minor alteration to the cowling, got the rad installed under the bus and took measurements for the coolant lines.

Two fans
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had planned on getting another fan eventually. Well, eventually became immediately when I thought about the prospect of putting the radiator in only to have to remove it to put in the second fan. That seemed penny-wise but time-stupid. So, I contacted Absolute Radiator for a 11" Maradyne fan to match the 12" Maradyne fan I already had. Between the 2 fans, I'll have 2265CFM (1155 for the 12" + 1100 for the 11") of air-pulling power. I have to think though the electrical requirements (7.4amp for the 11", 7.7amp for the 12"), but I have the fan relays from the electrical harness I got with the engine, so I may be able to just use those relays (with some new fuses). In the pictures to the right here you can see the foam spacers and the lock nuts. Like the front side, where there is a foam spacer between the radiator core and the fans, these foam spacers should be on the lock-nut side too to protect the core.

Cowling Final Alteration
After adding the second fan, I made a sight modification to the cowling to hold the sides together. I had intended to add the grate from my old furnace, but its heavy, oversized for the job, and I think it would have partially blocked the airflow. The simple strap will hold the sides together. It won't protect the fans from debris bouncing up from the pavement, of course. I'll worry about that later (I hope those aren't famous last words).

Radiator Install
The rear end of the "final" install was as easy as the test install. The chains hooked up very easily. The front end was a different matter. The passenger side went up fine, but the driver side wouldn't go all the way in. Near the rear, the cowling got hung up and the front corner got caught as well. Turned out the front corner was the hang-up. A little bending, and it fit. In the picture to the right, you can see what the ground clearance is like: 9-1/2"

Coolant Lines
Using a length of leftover vinyl tubing, I set to measuring the distance from the radiator inlet / outlet to the engine inlet / outlet. For reference, I'm considering the inlet on the driver side of the radiator point "A" and the outlet on the passenger side point "B". I drew a chalk line on the underside of the rear beam (point "C") and another line on the curved sidewall ("D") where the transaxle passes into the engine compartment. The Bentley guide for the ALH engine shows that the flange on the head is the outlet ("E") and that routes directly to the "top" of the radiator. The flange on the block where the thermostat is ("F") is the coolant inlet that routes to the "bottom" of the radiator. The drawing on the right here should help that make sense. The measurements follow. I'll be searching online for flexible hoses that will meet these requirements. I know Goodyear makes lines that would work, so I think it will just be a matter of selecting the closest ones size-wise, and finding an online vendor. I haven't been able to find a local source with the variety I need.

incremental lengths:
A to C: 24"
B to C: 19-1/2"
C to D: 24"
D to E: 18-1/2"
D to F: 20-12"

net total lengths:
A to E: 66-12"
B to F: 64"

That's it for now. Next up I think is getting the coolant lines and hooking them up. I should probably get looking into the cabin heat lines and the overflow bottle too. I need to think on the electrical for the fans and getting the sensor into the computer network. Seems like there's always a "next"...

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